Well, you have to go once, don't you? We've never been to the Chelsea Flower Show, and thought we'd give it a try. Who knows, we may have become avid Chelsea addicts. We enjoyed our day, but fortunately for our bank balance, one visit is enough.
|Our first view of the Chelsea crowds - not too bad|
As usual, we'd been watching Chelsea on the telly - we do so every year. I'd been dreading the crowds. It always looks a seething mass of humanity on TV. Battleaxe doesn't do long queues or not being able to see things - but it was not too bad at all. You could move round fairly easily and get to see even the most popular show gardens. However, there was no time to stand and stare - no matter what the telly presenters say about being able to 'lose yourself in the tranquillity' of such and such, believe me, that was never going to happen.
We started off with a cup of coffee and a faintly stale Chelsea bun, and then hit the Great Pavilion. Lots of luverly flowers. However, for Battleaxe, smell is as important as sight. I presume because the plants are so forced, most smells were absent. Some of the roses did smell, but when you bent down to sniff them, instead you got a pungent whiff of faintly rancid damp bark chippings. They looked fabulous, though.
We encountered the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham. The Lord Mayor is now Carl Rice - good solid Labour. We told them we were lapsed Brummies, and had a long chat - what a nice man, and his missus, too.
|Battleaxe with the Lord and Lady Mayoress....|
|A little bit of the Brum display|
|Helen from Rotherview, gold medal card in the background|
|The Rotherview display|
|Nice Pullman car|
|To promote a few tree ferns...|
|Spooky pitcher plants. There is a fly on one. We watched him for ages, but he wasn't going to sacrifice himself..|
|Beautiful cacti - how do they get them all to flower?|
|Huge crowd taking advantage of seats....|
Then to the Artisan Gardens - I liked this one with room for the Mini underneath.
I also felt that some designers were so keen to impress by using massive trees, vast boulders, heavy chunks of iron, huge structures etc that they had lost their plots. Just don't get me started on those revolving bay trees.... Here's a selection of photos.
|I liked this one...|
|Looked more washed out in real life than it did on the telly|
|This was the overall winning Show Garden.|
|Naff, and you'd kill yourself on that slippy marble|
|I liked this one - the Apothecary Garden|
|And I liked this one - for Great Ormond Street|
Did we enjoy the day? Yes. Were we glad to have had the Chelsea experience? Yes. Would we go again? No. People have told us that they prefer the Hampton Court RHS Show. We'll try that.
Here are a few final pictures:
|Obligatory Chelsea Pensioner|
|One thing I couldn't see well - carpet of poppies|
|Well dodgy geezer.....|